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The historic Otago town on the Arrow River beat out fellow small town finalist Waiheke during a virtual ceremony at last night’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful awards hosted by Pio Terei.
Queenstown Lakes District Council Arrowtown ward councillor Heath Copland said he was "very, very stoked on behalf of everyone in Arrowtown", especially as the district could use a lift.
"There’s huge, huge pride in our community and everyone’s very much invested and connected to each other — it’s great," Cr Copland said.
Cr Copland said it was "fantastic" to receive recognition for the efforts of community groups’ environmental work, including wilding pine control and native planting, and predator control in the town’s surrounds, as well as the council-led waste management effort.
The most beautiful large town, Hastings, was named towns and cities supreme winner.
Hamilton won the most beautiful large city award. The most beautiful small city award went to Whanganui.
Last night’s awards celebrated not only the country’s most beautiful towns and cities, but also individuals, businesses, communities and schools.
Keep New Zealand Beautiful chief executive Heather Saunderson and journalist and wellness expert Rachel Grunwell made the selections on 13 official awards over five categories.